YANGON 10 September 2020 – UNICEF Myanmar expresses deep sorrow over the deaths of two children and the injury of another child on Tuesday following an artillery fire in Myebon, Rakhine State. UNICEF is deeply concerned about the alarming increase of reports of killings and injuries of children, as a result of intensified fighting between the Myanmar Army and the Arakan Army in the conflict-affected areas of Rakhine State and southern Chin.
Children should never be targeted during armed conflicts. They are being killed in crossfire between parties to the conflict or even deliberately shot. They are being killed and maimed by landmines and explosive remnants of war in different parts of the country. Their education is being hampered by attacks against schools and the use of schools by parties to the conflict.
With the disruption of services including schools, that encompass much of their daily routine, children in Rakhine already feel the heavy weight of a stressful life in a conflict-affected area. Their safety and their rights must be a primary consideration in Myanmar, and for all adults who have influence over children’s lives. UNICEF strongly urges all parties to protect children at all times and keep them out of harm’s way.
As the country tackles the resurgence of COVID-19, UNICEF urges all parties to the conflict to intensify efforts to ensure civilians, including children affected by the pandemic and the protracted conflict, continue to have access to humanitarian assistance and services by exercising maximum restraint in the use of force against civilians.